Thursday, March 15, 2012

What pulls at your soul?

Acrylic on wood inside reclaimed frame

Recently, I had a conversation with someone.
They were confused by our "unconventional" lifestyle at our home.
Let me clarify . . .
I am an artist.
But I also work at a day job.
The typical 8-5 desk job where I work with contracts and budgets and spreadsheets.
And even though I would love to walk away from the grind of a 40+ hour work week, I won't.
There are bigger picture things that need to be considered.
My husband, who worked in high-end retail sales for years was the victim of the economy three years ago and was laid off.
That came as a blow to us, for sure.
But as we opened our hearts and souls and listened to what God was telling us,
we decided that perhaps this was a good thing.
The industry he was in was starting to plummet. The writing had been on the wall.
So in many ways - this came as no surprise.
Our desire, for years, had been to grow my art business. Maybe this was the time.
From that point on, the art business was no longer "mine" - it was "ours".
Although, I do all of the painting - My husband does almost everything else.
He manages the money end of things, he preps all of our pieces, he cuts all of the wood, installs all of the hardware, stays in contact with our clients, handles deliveries and shipping, manages the set-up and take down of all of our festival shows that we participate in - in essence, he runs the business.
And that doesn't even begin to cover all of the "extras" that he does around our home.
You know - like laundry and grocery shopping and taxi cabbing and on and on and on.
He is, by far and without question, way busier than when he was working at a traditional job.
And I know that I would be a mess without him.

Now this lifestyle is nice in many ways.
I like coming home from work to dinner already be prepared. I like going to my closet and always having clean clothes.
I love not having to handle the tedious part of creating art . . like screwing on hardware and applying sealer.

But it is hard as well.
If you are an artist, you understand -
usually a good deal of the work is up front, and the
monetary rewards are sometimes. . .
well, let's just say they can be a little unpredictable.

This January - after months of filling orders, sitting at multiple sales on the weekends after a 40+ hour work-week, the craziness of the Holidays and then going straight into over-drive to prepare and pull off a wedding for my oldest daughter -
we emerged wondering who we were and what we were doing exactly.
We were beyond exhausted.
We faced a bit of a crisis - and needed to make some hard decisions.
At that point - the knee jerk decision was - quit the business.
Go back to a traditional lifestyle with us both working traditional jobs.

But for some reason - the more we talked about that - the more it felt like that was not what we were supposed to do.

So we took a deep breath and
we continue on.

I don't know.
Maybe I have something to offer others. Maybe I don't.
Maybe I am being prepped for something much bigger.  Maybe I'm not.
Maybe someday I will be recognized internationally. Maybe I won't.
Maybe what I am doing today is as big as this business is going to get.  Maybe not.

But regardless - I am going to continue on this life trying to live it intentionally.
And listening to my soul.

1 comment:

An'Angelia Thompson said...

These are lovely, Laurie!